Monthly Archives: August 2018

A Look at the Three Common Water Heaters for Your Home

Technician checking gas boilerA water heater is not something you buy every year. Most people may only need to buy it once or twice in their lifetime. If you want to purchase a heater for your home but unsure of what to look for, here are three common heaters that you could choose from.

1. Tankless Heaters

Tankless water heaters do not feature a storage tank. Instead, it uses intense heat flashes against coils where water passes through. Although you won’t maintain a pressurized tank, you would still need professional plumbing services like those offered by Alfa Plumbing Services to remove scale and minerals from the heaters at least once a year to prevent heater damage and breakdown.

Although the initial price is usually high, they are energy efficient, which makes the cost worthwhile. This heater could be tailored to ensure an uninterrupted flow of hot water.

2. Conventional storage tank

Storage tanks heaters are the earliest and most common type of water heater. Like the name suggests, the heater has an insulated container in which the water is heated and stored until it is needed. The system features pressure and temperature relief valves, which opens to free pressure when it reaches 150 psi. Natural gas heaters are less costly to operate than electric heaters. The tanks should be cleaned and drained a few times in a year to ensure their durability.

3. Solar Heaters

The system consists of a roof-mounted solar panel that absorbs the sun’s heat and transfers it to a fluid in a closed-loop system that holds and heats the water. Solar water heaters are efficient during the hot months and less productive during the cold seasons.

Every type of water heaters has its pros and cons; it is not a case of one size fits all. A water heater for your home needs to suit your needs and. You can consult a professional heating expert for advice on which heater would fit your lifestyle best.

What to Do When Renting a Premium Car

Premium carEvery once in a while, you find ways to spend lavishly on yourself or your family. And that’s okay! Tasting the finer things in life is one of the best ways to appreciate living. One of the best and easiest ways to spoil yourself (even for a day) is to rent a premium car, whether for travel or for a joy ride within the city.

Now that you’ve picked a premium car hire, you need to keep in mind a couple of things before leaving. These measures will not only make sure that you can easily take care of your car, these will also help protect yourself.

Check things out

Don’t get too excited yet. What you need to do is check everything your mechanic would check. And yes, that means a lot of things. For one, you need to examine the condition of the brakes, light, gas, engine, battery, and water. Examine the interiors, including the seats, air-conditioning, and the radio, as well.

Take pictures

To protect yourself from unjust accusations, you should take pictures of the car being rented to you. You may take note of some minor scratches. Take pictures, for instance, so that it will be clear that it’s not you who caused it.

Read the fine print

The best protection comes from knowledge. Before you leave the car lot, you should read the contract or agreement carefully and thoroughly. Don’t engage if they don’t have a contract. If there are questionable provisions, raise them so they’ll be cleared to you. Also, see if they have any insurance protection.

Driving a premium car is much more enjoyable if you know that you’re protected. Do these things before you leave the car lot!

 

Ways on How to Keep Your Child Protected Against the Sun When Going to a Water Park

Family swimming in a water park

Family swimming in a water parkMost kids love to spend time in the water. That’s why it’s a great idea for parents to bring their children to a water park here in New Jersey. With all the big waves and amazing activities, you might want to consider these tips to ensure that you’ll make the most out of your trip.

Bring Enough Towels

Although some resorts provide towels for their guests, it wouldn’t really hurt if you decided to bring your own. You might get trapped in a long line of guests waiting for a beach towel, that you’ll no longer have enough time to enjoy the park with your kids.

One great alternative option is to bring their bathrobes so they’ll be able to dry off while keeping covered up from the sun all at the same time.

Wear Enough Sunscreen

Bringing enough sunscreen for everyone is necessary. Ensure that you read the label and check its SPF. You may want to choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30 or even higher so you’ll get enough protection against the harmful effects of the sun.

Consider Leaving Their Pool Toys At Home

There are so many water activities in most water parks that your children may tend to forget their toys along the way. So, it’s better to leave them behind instead of losing them in the water park.

Keep Hydrated

Since you’ll be outside almost all day, it’s always best to keep everyone hydrated at all times. You may also want to choose a spot where there’s a lot of shade so that you can cool down for a bit.

Although you’ll be surrounded by water the whole day, suffering from too much exposure to the sun’s rays may cause you to get dehydrated.

These are just a few of the things that you might want to consider when going to a water park. Ensure to read the park rules and ask the staff or even the lifeguards if you have any questions.

Less Screen Time: 3 Ways to Encourage Outdoor Play

kids playing outsideWhen children aren’t studying, you’ll most likely find them glued to their iPads. This doesn’t sit well with scientists as many studies show that this behavior could affect children’s health. The challenge for parents is how to make their kids break away from tablets, cell phones, and other gadgets and go out and be more active.

While setting time limits for the use of technologies help, you need to have something more enticing to offer your kids. Here’s one good suggestion: outdoor play.

Here are some ways to reintroduce playing outdoors that will make kids excited for it.

Organize a treasure hunt.

Many kids are glued to their iPads because playing games gives them a sense of fulfillment. When they score high, they get rewarded with extra lives.

Translate this sense of accomplishment in your outdoor play via a treasure hunt. Prepare a narrative. Your kid and their friends could be pirates looking for a trove of food, with only a map to guide them. Now, there are some stops on the way to the treasure where they need to do missions like jumping on the trampoline five times or singing their pirate song.

Once they’re able to find the treasure, they can then have a mini picnic in the yard. A wide, fenced backyard is an ideal place for this type of treasure game. A picket or black, aluminum fencing ensures they stay in sight even as they run and play to their heart’s content. GreatFence.com, a specialist in home fencing, recommends a perimeter fence to keep children from running to the streets.

Let them explore nature.

Kids love apps because they’re interactive and can pique their curiosity. So, if you’re making them play outside, you want activities that are similarly interactive and interesting.

Try letting them interact with nature. Encourage them to try gardening. Let them feel in their very own hands the soil and the dirt in your backyard. Teach them how to plant seeds the right way. Ask them to water plants, so they can watch them grow.

Go back to the basics.

Remember your favorite games as a child? Did you play kick-the-can, tag, or red rover? Maybe you loved sports like basketball, table tennis, or swimming. Teach your kids the sports and games you used to play. It also a chance for you to bond and make them exercise at the same time.

Kids and screens go hand in hand now. However, you can offer a better alternative to their tablets with outdoor play. Encourage your kids to get moving in the yard!

Family Biking Activities Are Cooler than You Think

Family riding their bikes

Family riding their bikesParents are always looking for ways to strike a balance between allowing their kids to enjoy some time on their own and spending enough time together as a family. With that in mind, here are three fresh ways to give your kids the best of both worlds.

Early Morning Outdoor Fun

Getting some outdoor play, fresh air, and sunlight are three great reasons to spend time outdoors in the early morning. A good way to do that is to ride a bike from MADSEN Cycles with your kids. It’s a fantastic way to give them some outdoor time while still keeping them close to you. You can ride it to the park or around the neighborhood to let your kids explore their surroundings without getting lost.

Family Fitness Routine

Hop on a bike to get some exercise and take the kids with you. Have a quick ride around the block where you can let the kids jog along. You can also bring another bike with you so that you can take turns with your spouse teaching your kids how to ride a bike. This will surely tire them out, which is good because it’ll put them to bed early.

Fun Learning Activity

A family bike is a convenient form of transport during quick-errand-days. It’s the most practical vehicle for quick errands, with no fuel expense to boot. Make it a fun activity day with the kids by getting around on a bike instead of taking a larger vehicle. It’s a learning activity that practically costs nothing but is undoubtedly a lot of fun and gets things done. It’s a way for your kids to observe your day and pick up a few errand hacks from you along the way.

Family biking activities are cool parenting tricks that allow you to spend time with your kids while giving them a sense of independence. It’s an excellent way to bond with your family. Thus, get your family bike today and start the fun!

Five Signs It’s Time to Buy a New Mattress

a man shopping for a mattress

a man shopping for a mattressPeople spend a great deal of time on their mattress. After a long day at work or school, all you want to do is to snuggle into your fresh sheets on your soft, cosy mattress. But, you can’t quite do that if your bed is uncomfortable.

If you would rather sleep on the couch than in your own bed, maybe it’s time you bought a new mattress. But, make certain that you dispose of your old mattress in an eco-friendly way, Benmores Beds notes. Now, when should you purchase a new mattress?

When Sleeping is Uncomfortable

When your bed is saggy and lumpy, you may experience back pain upon waking. An unsatisfactory and disrupted sleep results in tiredness, stress and an overall bad mood.

When the Springs Make Noise

Mattresses are wear-and-tear articles. Once you feel the springs starting to pop out of the mattress and hear them make creaking noises, it’s likely time for a change. Otherwise, you will suffer an uncomfortable slumber where springs poke into your back.

When the Bed Bugs Bite

Bed bugs are a nuisance that can cause allergies and excessive itching. Flipping your mattress or changing your sheets cannot completely solve this bug problem. It’s time to replace your mattress and do a general home cleaning.

When the Mattress Changes Colour

The discolouration of a mattress can result from age, stains and spills. If you think that a discoloured mattress is grubby and that it may be a shelter for allergy-triggering dust mites, you wouldn’t be wrong.

When it’s Past the 7-Year Itch

Your relationship with your mattress should end after seven years, according to The Sleep Council. It may not be a source of discomfort, but the seven-year-old mattress you still fancy and don’t want to let go of yet has accumulated loads of fluid and skin cells you shed while sleeping.

When you sleep in an uncomfortable bed, you may develop serious skeletal and sleep problems. For that reason, don’t underestimate the importance of a comfortable mattress. If you are shopping for a new mattress, it does not have to be a lavish purchase. Just select the one you know will give you a good night’s rest and provide the support that your body needs.

Make Your Home More Comfortable by Getting Rid of Rodents

A rat

A ratThe presence of rodents in your house can make you dread going back home. Looking at the damaged curtains and scattered breadcrumbs, it is evident that rodents can be destructive at the very least.

Eliminating Rodents

Before deciding to make your house rodent-proof, you need to get rid of those that are already in your home and compound. One way may be through trapping the rodents. Companies like IPM Pest Control offer rodent control services. Such companies employ more effective methods that will eliminate all the rodents in your home in a short time. Also, install some rodent traps around your house to trap new rodents that try to intrude your home.

Maintain Cleanliness

Rodents are often attracted to wrongly disposed of leftovers. That means that places like kitchens and backyards have a high potential for rodent infestation. Always ensure that all waste bins are well sealed to keep the rodents away. General storage units and rooms should also be kept clean because rodents may even eat fabric and other materials that are left lying around.

Seal Open Spaces

Open spaces encourage rodents to enter your home. That applies to both rats and mice. Areas around your fence must be sealed off to deny access to rodents that are trying to enter your compound. Houses should also be made rodent-proof by covering open places. Low-ventilation windows may be sealed using wire meshes to allow for the passage of air while still making the house rodent-proof.

Rodents cause much clutter. That is because they may bite your mattresses and clothes, leaving small pieces all over the house. Therefore, it is essential to get rid of rodents to make your home more comfortable.

The Big Shift: How Shopping Malls Have Evolved

Couple in a mall with shopping bags

Couple in a mall with shopping bagsShopping malls aren’t what they used to be. Before, they were essentially big stores that house smaller businesses. Today, with retail competition getting more cutthroat and shoppers looking for quality goods and services, malls are no longer mere shopping centers; they’ve become lifestyle hubs.

The Dramatic Shift

The rise of e-commerce drives the chances in mall designs today. The ease of online shopping dramatically shifted the way people think about shopping. With just one click, they’re able to get the exact product they’re looking for at a price they are willing to pay. Shoppers have the added advantage of being able to compare prices from different online stores quickly. The convenience of online shopping is the very thing mall owners are up against. Thus, their strategy changed: Since they can’t compete with online convenience, mall retailers broaden customers’ shopping experience.

Lifestyle Malls

As a result, malls today offer complete downtown services with spas, salons, fitness centers, and even concert halls. Notice how modern malls often have massive glass roofs that flood the area with natural light. Some also have park-like features in their outdoor areas with cafes and restaurants where people can bring their pets.

The Addition of Commercial Green Spaces

One key factor in making shopping a lifestyle successful is the addition of green features. They make the interiors look and feel natural, laid-back, and unstaged rather than clinical and closed-off.

Architectural digests and economic magazines deduce that the addition of green spaces can help enhance the lifestyle vibe that’s crucial to the survival of the mall industry. Malls that integrate green spaces in their open or indoor areas should also invest in commercial lawn care and maintenance to maintain their pleasant aesthetics and ambiance.

Mall gardens are places where shoppers can relax; and when they are comfortable enough to lounge around longer in these spaces, they increase sale opportunities for the stores in the area. These spaces give shoppers leisure and entertainment they can’t experience online.

Malls have changed so much in the last years as they respond to the growing competition and ever-changing customer’s preferences. If you haven’t switched yet to making your shopping center a lifestyle hub, you’re most likely missing out.

Ride the Wave of Market Changes with 2 Smart Moves

a business meetingMost companies have a hard time coping with disruptive changes in the market and consumer preference. Instead of fighting these changes, you stand a better chance of success if you can embrace change.

Change is the only constant thing that gives a true picture of the current marketplace. Evolving consumer preferences and market needs are the orders of the day, driven by evolving technology.

However, instead of trying to fight a losing battle, you are better off riding the wave of change. For instance, if you are a traditional print shop, AP Lazer notes that you could invest in a CO2 laser engraving machine and stay in business.

Increase product offerings

As the world leans towards the digital realms, the demand for print materials often is a roller-coaster. Instead of throwing your hands up in despair due to declining revenues, you should adapt to the changes and innovations. Diversifying your product offerings is a great way to safeguard your bottom line. Companies are getting craftier in their marketing strategies that move away from traditional print materials.

Instead of posters and brochures, there’s a growing preference for useful and durable marketing products. Engraved key chains, coasters, wine glasses, and signage are more popular these days. Adding such products to your offerings will more than just make up for the declining orders in other printed goods.

Create custom products

The world is rapidly moving from mass marketing and embracing customized marketing messages. Customer experience is a major differentiating factor that ensures business success. With the right technology, you can help your clients create a range of highly personalized marketing items for their business.

Don’t let the changing business landscape cause you to incur a decline in your business revenue. With the right technology and strategies, you can use changes to your advantage and grow your business.

High Demand for Houses Fuels High Demand for Home Inspectors

a modern homeInspections are part of every home buying process. These are mostly conducted by third-party individuals who are part of organizations instead of corporations. One reason for this is that no single company can claim to be the leader or the standard in home inspections. This begs the need for a home inspection franchise review, which would rate different franchises offering this service.

The Need for Home Inspections

The number of houses bought bottomed out in 2009. Since then, it has steadily increased with the improving economy. Except for newly built houses, older homes require home inspections. Typically, homeowners who want to put their house on the market would hire a home inspector to check on the property for possible problems. At the same time, buyers also want to have a property inspected to ensure that there are no problems before they buy.

Possible Home Problems

A home inspector needs to be technically oriented, be able to understand blueprints, and have an idea of the possible problems of a house. When inspecting a property, they would look at the safety of the house, possible fire hazards and infestations, adherence to building codes, a list of possible repairs, and any needed upgrades.

This is a thorough inspection from top to bottom, and includes the roof and eaves, ceilings, loft, HVAC, pipes, sewage lines, rooms, fireproofing, alarms, basement, electrical systems, flooring and walls. Carports, patio, swimming pools, spas, as well as foundations are also inspected. Reports have to be clean, detailed, clear, and concise. If the house was bought and problems not mentioned in the report were encountered, the home inspector can be sued.

The job of the home inspector requires a technical mind and excellent attention to detail. With a growing number of home sales, the demand for home inspectors is expected also to increase.